Brexit deal on withdrawal issues 'must be approved by MPs and peers'

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said Britain must make a fresh offer on money within a fortnight

"I welcome the announcement today that parliament will be asked to approve any withdrawal agreement by statute but it remains the case that the bill as drafted does not reflect what the government is now promising - and the bill will therefore have to be changed to meet the government's promise", he said.

"Once we have reached an agreement we will now bring forward a specific piece of primary legislation to implement that agreement, this will be known as the withdrawal agreement and implementation bill".

"And also offers no safeguard if no deal is reached".

Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "This is a significant climbdown from a weak Government on the verge of defeat".

Parliamentary committees will begin scrutinising the Withdrawal Bill on Thursday.

Owen Paterson, a former Tory Cabinet minister and Eurosceptic, asked him: "If the House of Commons votes down the new Withdrawal Bill, will the effect be we still leave on March 29, 2019 but without an agreement?"

Mr Davis confirmed MPs and peers will be given a take-it-or-leave-it choice on the Brexit deal, as he explained if Parliament rejects a withdrawal agreement, Britain will still leave the EU.

'The bill is expected to cover the contents of the withdrawal agreement, including issues such as an agreement on citizens' rights, any financial settlement and the details of an implementation period agreed between both sides.

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Mr Davis said that the new law will enable Parliament to go through the legislation on a "line-by-line" basis, but raises the prospect of a divisive parliamentary showdown on the eve of Brexit.

Mr Davis replied: "Yes".

"For months, Labour has been calling on ministers to guarantee parliament a final say on the withdrawal agreement".

Davis's move was seen as an attempted concession to Conservative rebels who may defy the government this week by voting against separate Brexit legislation transferring existing European Union laws to Britain.

"With less than 24 hours before they had to defend their flawed bill to Parliament they have finally backed down", he said.

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said a parliamentary vote "simply isn't good enough" as he repeated his party's call for a second European Union referendum on the terms of a Brexit deal.

Last night Tory MPs threatening to amend the Bill welcomed the Government's latest concession. "They need to accept Labour's amendments that would ensure transitional arrangements, and protect jobs and economy from a cliff-edge". Davis said it would be a meaningful vote but that it would not undo the process.

If there's no deal at all, then Parliament won't get a vote, Davis told Parliament on Monday, prompting jeers from lawmakers.

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